The Business Engineer

by Paul Carslake


Round-up of merger, acquisition and funding activity during April

The company The deal Price Date effective

GEC (UK) merged with Fore Systems Inc(US) £ AprilTI Group (UK) acquired Walbro Corporation (US) £348m JuneIMI (UK) acquired Polypipe (UK) £337m AprilGeneral Cable (US) acquired energy cable business of BICC (UK) £275m AprilMSDW Investment Holdings (UK) acquired Acorn Group (UK) £270m AprilUnipart Group (UK) acquired Partco Group (UK) £179m AprilTomkins (UK) acquired ACD Tridon Inc (Canada) £64m AprilNemic Lambda acquired 47.7% minority stake in(Invensys subsidiary) Nippon Electric Industry (Japan) £34m AprilInvensys (UK) sold 51.9% stake in Nylex Malaysia to Ancom Berhad £29m AprilNiagara Corporation acquired remaining metals (US) businesses of Glynwed (UK) £22m AprilInvensys (UK) acquired 49% minority stake in Polystore (US) £19m AprilCarclo Engineering Group (UK) acquired Wood Industries (US) £16m AprilAllen McGuire & Partners (Eire) acquired Harkness Hall (UK) £14m AprilPowergen Renewables joint venture to build wind farm (UK) with Saorgus, Tralee (Eire) £13m AprilFerrograph (UK) raised capital, with Royal Bank Development Capital taking majority £10m (total stake raised) AprilVocalis Group (UK) share placing to fund speech recognition telephony products £9m MayUltra Electronics acquired Advanced Programming Holdings (UK) Concepts (US) £7m AprilSenior Engineering acquired 20% minority stake in Group (UK) Techno Flex Company (Japan) £7m AprilCalluna (UK) rights issue to repay bank debt and raise £2.5m to fund new equipment £6m (total raised) April

Source: Corpfin}}

The bulk of the activity in the engineering sector over April involved deals with US companies. The most prominent deal was GEC’s merger with Pittsburgh-based Fore Systems, a designer and maker of networking products for telecoms and internet.

The move is part of GEC’s continuing surge into the high technology and telecoms markets.

Elsewhere, US companies cropped up in almost 40% of the 71 deals reported during April by Corpfin.

TI’s acquisition of automotive fuel tank and fuel line company Walbro will allow the London-based engineering group to form a new automotive systems division.

This will put Walbro alongside TI’s Bundy operation, whose main products are automotive hoses and pipes.

Shareholders at BICC approved the sale of its energy cables business to General Cable Corporation of the US for £275m. The deal leaves BICC as a purely construction engineering group, and follows the rebuttal of a takeover bid by industrial investor Wassall.

In a similar vein, Glynwed found a buyer in the US to complete its exit from metals in April, with the sale of its hot-rolling and bright draw steel processing activities.

The sale to US steel company Niagara Corporation leaves Glynwed free to build up its pipe systems and food service equipment operations.